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Nauru Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: no official capital

Local Time: UTC +12h

Location: Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands.
Area: 21 sq km, (8 sq miles).
Terrain: Raised coral reef with sandy beaches rises to a fertile but narrow ring around a phosphate plateau in the center.

Climate: Tropical, rainy season (November to February)

Type: Republic
Independence: 31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, New Zealand-, and United Kingdom-administered UN trusteeship)

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Nauruan (s).
Population (2004 est.): 7,500 Nauruans, 2,500 foreign workers.
Ethnic groups: Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%, European 8%.
Religions: Christian (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic).
Languages: Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English
Literacy: 97%


Australian Dollar (AUD)

Natural resources: Phosphates (reserves are now depleted), Fish.

Agriculture products: Coconuts.

Internet Links

Official Sites of Nauru

NAURU, Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Nauru - Legislation - The Constitution of Nauru

Map of Nauru

Map of West Pacific Islands



Background:  Nauru's phosphate deposits began to be mined early in the
20th century by a German-British consortium; the island was occupied by
Australian forces in World War I. Nauru achieved independence in 1968 and
joined the UN in 1999. Nauru is the world's smallest independent republic.

Geography Nauru

Location:  Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the
Marshall Islands

Geographic coordinates:  0 32 S, 166 55 E

Map references:  Oceania

Area:  total: 21 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 21 sq km

Area - comparative:  about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  30 km

Maritime claims:   12 NM exclusive economic zone: Climate:  tropical;
monsoonal; rainy season (November to February)

Terrain:  sandy beach rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs
with phosphate plateau in center

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point:
unnamed location along plateau rim 61 m

Natural resources:  phosphates, fish

Land use:  arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:  limited natural fresh water resources, roof
storage tanks collect rainwater, but mostly dependent on a single, aging
desalination plant; intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years -
mainly by a UK, Australia, and NZ consortium - has left the central 90%
of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes,
Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not
ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:  Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands
in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati
and Makatea in French Polynesia; only 53 km south of Equator

People Nauru

Population:  12,329 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 39.6% (male 2,515; female 2,366) 15-64 years:
58.7% (male 3,578; female 3,656) 65 years and over: 1.7% (male 108;
female 106) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.96% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  26.6 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.06 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.02 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  10.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   65.26 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.5 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Nauruan(s) adjective: Nauruan

Ethnic groups:  Nauruan 58%, other Pacific Islander 26%, Chinese 8%,
European 8%

Religions:  Christian (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic)

Languages:  Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language),
English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and
commercial purposes

Literacy:  definition: NA total population: NA% male: NA% female: NA%

Government Nauru

Country name:   Republic of Nauru conventional short form: Government
type:  republic

Capital:  no official capital; government offices in Yaren District

Administrative divisions:  14 districts; Aiwo, Anabar, Anetan, Anibare,
Baiti, Boe, Buada, Denigomodu, Ewa, Ijuw, Meneng, Nibok, Uaboe, Yaren

Independence:  31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and
UK-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 31 January (1968)

Constitution:  29 January 1968

Legal system:  acts of the Nauru Parliament and British common law

Suffrage:  20 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Rene HARRIS (since 30
March 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head
of government elections:  held NA March 2001 (next to be held NA 2004)
election results: Rene HARRIS elected president; percent of Parliamentary
vote - NA% cabinet:  head of government: President Rene HARRIS (since
30 March 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head
of government

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament (18 seats; members elected by
popular vote to serve three-year terms) elections: last held 9 April 2000
(next to be held NA April 2003) election results: percent of vote - NA%;
seats - independents 18

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:  loose multiparty system; Democratic Party
[Kennan ADEANG]; Nauru Party (informal) [Bernard DOWIYOGO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO,
ICAO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO

Diplomatic representation in the US:  Nauru does not have an embassy in
the US, but does have a UN office at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400 D, New
York, New York 10017; telephone: Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Nauru; the US Ambassador to Fiji is
accredited to Nauru

Flag description:  blue with a narrow, horizontal, yellow stripe across
the center and a large white 12-pointed star below the stripe on the
hoist side; the star indicates the country's location in relation to the
Equator (the yellow stripe) and the 12 points symbolize the 12 original
tribes of Nauru

Economy Nauru

Economy - overview:  Revenues of this tiny island have come from
exports of phosphates, but reserves are expected to be exhausted within
a few years. Phosphate production has declined since 1989, as demand has
fallen in traditional markets and as the marginal cost of extracting the
remaining phosphate increases, making it less internationally competitive.
While phosphates have given Nauruans one of the highest per capita incomes
in the Third World, few other resources exist with most necessities being
imported, including fresh water from Australia.  The rehabilitation of
mined land and the replacement of income from phosphates are serious
long-term problems. In anticipation of the exhaustion of Nauru's
phosphate deposits, substantial amounts of phosphate income have been
invested in trust funds to help cushion the transition and provide for
Nauru's economic future. The government has been borrowing heavily from
the trusts to finance fiscal deficits. To cut costs the government has
called for a freeze on wages, a reduction of over-staffed public service
departments, privatization of numerous government agencies, and closure
of some overseas consulates. In recent years Nauru has encouraged the
registration of offshore banks and corporations.  Tens of billions of
dollars have been channeled through their accounts. Few comprehensive
statistics on the Nauru economy exist, with estimates of Nauru's per
capita GDP varying widely.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $60 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  NA%

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $5,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  -3.6% (1993)

Labor force - by occupation:  employed in mining phosphates, public
administration, education, and transportation

Unemployment rate:  0%

Budget:  revenues: $23.4 million expenditures: $64.8 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96)

Industries:  phosphate mining, offshore banking, coconut products

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  30 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  27.9 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  coconuts

Exports:  $25.3 million (f.o.b., 1991)

Exports - commodities:  phosphates

Exports - partners:  NZ, Australia, South Korea, US (2000)

Imports:  $21.1 million (c.i.f., 1991)

Imports - commodities:  food, fuel, manufactures, building materials,

Imports - partners:  Australia, US, UK, Indonesia, India (2000)

Debt - external:  $33.3 million

Economic aid - recipient:  $2.25 million from Australia (FY96/97 est.)

Currency:  Australian dollar (AUD)

Currency code:  AUD

Exchange rates:  Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002)
1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications Nauru

Telephones - main lines in use:  2,000 (1996)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  450 (1994)

Telephone system:  general assessment: adequate local and international
radiotelephone communication provided via Australian facilities domestic:
NA international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  7,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  1 (1997)

Televisions:  500 (1997)

Internet country code:  .nr

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  NA

Transportation Nauru

Railways:  total: 5 km note: gauge unknown; used to haul phosphates from
the center of the island to processing facilities on the southwest coast

Highways:  total: 30 km paved: 24 km unpaved: 6 km (1998 est.)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Nauru

Merchant marine:  none (2002 est.)

Airports:  1 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001)

Military Nauru

Military branches:  no regular military forces; Nauru Police Force

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 3,103 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,710
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Military - note:  Nauru maintains no defense forces; under an informal
agreement, defense is the responsibility of Australia

Transnational Issues Nauru

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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